365 and done!

That’s it! The last hashtag365daysofblogging! 

I just spent 45 minutes combing through the last year of posts. It would have been reeeeeaaaallllyyy smart to properly categorize all of them. 

I think I gave up on that some time during the fall. 

Anyway, I think these totals are fairly accurate. There were some blendings of topics, since this blog is fairly informal. By the numbers, during this project I have written (approximately):

44 poems (plus 2 songs [lyrics only])

25 flash fiction pieces

89 reflections on everything from stuff that causes me stress to stuff that I do for fun to records of the weather. Actually, I realized halfway through counting that I ought to have tallied up the posts about weather! Oh, well . . .

I reflected on my weird dreams about 6 times.

Wrote about my dog and my bearded dragon about 10 times. 

42 of my posts were about my kids, and/or parenting challenges.

I wrote about being sick 16 times.

Teaching came up 57 times! That includes ruminations on my extracurriculars and field trips. And work stress . . .

Knitting appears 17 times, while cross-stitching is a paltry once.

Pop culture (books, films, cosplay) came up at least 62 times, including 10 reviews of media and books. I’d include popular customs in there, as well, like Christmas. 

And finally, writing — during the last 365 days, I wrote about writing 71 times.

I noticed, too, that a hell of a lot of the posts were about the things I want to do better. Maybe that’s a thought pattern I need to change. But looking back through all of them was actually kind of uplifting. It’s one thing to tell yourself or remind yourself of all the stuff you attempted and accomplished over a span of time. It’s another to see it laid out in front of you — the evidence in print and photograph, outside of your brain, dividing memory from dream.

Where do I go from here? 

I can feel more blog posts wanting to happen. But it’s nice to let go of the self-imposed daily goal. Weekly, or more, will be great. 

But the challenge of changing my thought patterns and self-perception? I think I’ve got a lot of work to do there. 

Thank you once again for being part of this journey. Catch you online tomorrow!

Week Two of my Personal Training Journey

I am craving chocolate in the worst way, and I was so lazy today . . . I’ve gotten more used to my meal plan, though some habits are definitely harder to break than others. It’s easier to follow than Weight Watchers, but I struggle to drink a full two litres of water a day, and I need to have more protein in the mornings. Peanut butter alone isn’t cutting it. I’ll have to build my egg skills. The thing is, I mainly have peanut butter on toast because it’s easy, and warm. Cold breakfast (refrigerated boiled eggs, cereal) turns me right off, even though I know I should be grateful just to have food. Anyway . . .

I bought myself a health tracker, the Bellabeat Leaf.  

 
I’m enjoying it, so far, although it’s not as sensitive at times as I know a Fitbit might be. Still, it’s telling me how I sleep (restlessly, aparently), and how many calories I use, acts as a pedometer, and that’s helping me stay motivated. 

   
    
  
   
Sadly, today my activity level was practically nil. I was tired. Did a lot of knitting and not a lot of anything else. Wondering whether my period is coming . . . Would explain my snappishness, chocolate cravings (thank goodness for the chocolate-flavoured herbal tea my dear Tara Hall sent me!), and the onset of exhaustion today. 

  
I will be strong, to be stronger and healthier. I may have two packages of chocolate in my knitting bag, but they will remain unopened until I finish the mermaid blanket, and even then, I will only eat one of each! 

  
(Hey, look at that! Only 15 inches to go and I can start decreasing rounds!)

So, that’s this weekend over, and January done. Got a list of calls to make and appointments to start scheduling for this and that, a new class to plan and prep for tomorrow, plus the remaining marking and report card comments and grades to complete by Wednesday. Also posters and add for this month’s fundraisers and arts events. 

Maybe it was good that I was lazy today.

Guess who’s going to

have her first exhibition booth?

THIS AUTHOR! 

Right here!

Me!

I am taking the plunge! I’m going to have a table at the Northern Ontario Expo, baby!

  
So much to do . . . Going to have to get on ordering the poster for Crystal and Wand, maybe frames or have them laminated, maybe have a nice big sign printed, or a banner . . . Getting a lot of ideas on how to make my booth and books stand out from the crowd!

I’ll have to go through my stock of print books, make sure I have enough of each, and the swag . . . Maybe set up a gift basket for a draw. 

So exciting! I welcome your suggestions. Stay tuned for news!

.

.

.

Also, am I nuts?!? That’s the weekend before the Ottawa ComicCon field trip! Right after the Sears Drama Festival! Ack!!!

Onward and inward . . .

img_7690-2

So, as it turns out, not writing every day turns into not writing at all. This is not a good thing. I must write. 

These past few weeks of the new year — wait, it’s almost the end of the month! What?! — I have kept busy with work and in-laws visiting and knitting. I have decided to participate in the Geek-A-Long (GAL) challenge, with the goal of knitting a blanket block a week for a geeky knitted blanket for my boy and myself each, plus a mermaid tail blanket for Bridget because she didn’t want a block blanket. 

So far, so good! (Previous blog readers, you might recognize the caffeine block from earlier, in December.)  

  
     

   

 Mermaid, in progress:

 
On top of that,  I’ve been participating in Sipnpaints, getting back in touch with my inner artiste:    

 
   
In the middle of that, there has also been caring for our Skittles, whose senior belly could not handle her puppy-like appetite for discarded chicken bones. She seems to have recovered nicely, thanks to the prescriptions and bland food ordered by our friendly vet . . . 

   
 
Finally, I started working with a personal trainer for the first time this evening. I have splurged on a gym membership with an 18 session package of personal training (January sales!). Probably shouldn’t have spent the money (and I’m not done paying!), but in less than two years, I’m going to be 40. Sporadic activity like skating (my lessons have ended, so I have to start remembering public skating opportunities) and skiing (late this year due to the poor winter) isn’t enough to get me to the state of fitness I want. I want to be like Kate Beckett on Castle, like Emma Swan or Regina Mills on OUAT — I want to be fit enough to hold my body weight if I have to. You never know. What if I find myself dangling from a helicopter? Fitness doesn’t hurt the cosplay, either!

Hmmm . . . all of this crafting and creativity and new focus on exercise maaaay just be part of a genius diabolical plan to procrastinate on writing projects and house cleaning. I did do a fantastic job on the bathroom when the in-laws came up, though!

So my personal fitness goals include increasing my upper body strength, improving my cardio, and maybe getting down to 190 so I can fit some of my clothes again. But mainly I want to feel physically awesome. Less lumpy.

And then the writing: I have yet to focus time on the next project. I know perfectly well why. Time to stop hiding from it and start again, even if knitting and painting are easier.

How has your January been?

Those WIP Blues . . .

So I was sharing some of the problems I’ve been having with my creepy dollhouse tale with my teenager, and he suggested that the plot I outlined last summer is too convoluted and complicated, too drawn out. And I think he’s right. That may be one of the reasons why I’ve been stymied on it.

For instance, I still can’t figure out how the damned thing should start! I’ve tried third person, and first person, using a little poetry with the prose; I’ve tried looking at it as a confession, before realizing the first narrator probably wouldn’t be Catholic (thank you, research!), then as a letter. 

Contemplating now having the tale be a collection of artifacts and records tracing the path and stories of the thing. Maybe that will be what I need to do. Might also try composing in longhand, as well, using my new quills and ink. :)

On the plus: Time for a BOOK SALE!

The Untreed Reads Store is having a sale to the end of January, and one of my titles is among them!

  
Click the link to start your journey through the Talbot Trilogy for just $0.99 — a steamy read to get you through the cold. 

http://store.untreedreads.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=890&products_id=1041

Don’t forget to tell me what you think, here or on your favourite social media. Spread the word! Tell your friends! Go on Goodreads! 

  
Love to you all! You keep me going when you turn the pages of my books!

The End is the Beginning

Went to bed after the countdown and the kids blew their horns. I’m not much for New Year’s celebrations, not really. 

Instead, I spent yesterday evening cleaning, just here and there. I sorted and purged my sewing boxes, flattened boxes for recycling, found a container to hold completed blanket squares, watched Doctor Who for a while and then put on movies when the boy said our use of Netflix was causing his game to lag.

The end of the year doesn’t feel all that significant to me. It’s an arbitrary date that has become a tradition in Western society. We have another midwinter party, people drink and eat and are festive, and then turn the calendar page.

But I get it. We need the sense of renewal and moving forward. 

Not setting any resolutions for myself. I’m just carrying on with trying to be better.